Development and validation of ultrasound speckle tracking to quantify tendon displacement

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Ultrasound can be used to study tendon movement. However, measurement of tendon movement is mostly based on manual tracking of anatomical landmarks such as the musculo-tendinous junction, limiting the applicability to a small number of muscle-tendon units. The aim of this study was to quantify tendon displacement without anatomical landmarks using a speckle tracking algorithm optimized for tendons in long B-mode image sequences. A dedicated two-dimensional multi-kernel block-matching scheme with subpixel motion estimation was devised to handle large displacements over long sequences. The accuracy of the tracking on porcine tendons was evaluated during different displacements and velocities. Subsequently, the accuracy of tracking the flexor digitorum superficialis (FDS) of a human cadaver hand was evaluated. Finally, the in-vivo accuracy of the tendon tracking was determined by measuring the movement of the FDS at the wrist level. For the porcine experiment and the human cadaver arm experiment tracking errors were, on average, 0.08 and 0.05 mm, respectively (1.3% and 1.0%). For the in-vivo experiment the tracking error was, on average, 0.3 mm (1.6%). This study demonstrated that our dedicated speckle tracking can quantify tendon displacement at different physiological velocities without anatomical landmarks with high accuracy. The technique allows tracking over large displacements and in a wider range of tendons than by using anatomical landmarks. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)1373-1379
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Research programs

  • EMC COEUR-09
  • EMC MUSC-01-46-01
  • EMC NIHES-01-50-01-A

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